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Introduction After eight years of foreign service in the Middle East, a truly intriguing post is ahead: America. Join us for our reintegration (for myself and John) and initiation (for Gabby, Kit, Jack and Kelbi the dog) into life in the country our passports say we're from. We enter America new: now the parents of one dog and three children, one with special needs. I have spent the recent past forging friendships in a blink, secure in the fact that my government doesn't send lunatics and criminals on diplomatic assignments. My kids have been handled freely by adoring strangers who are unencumbered by a culture who hurts children or fears being perceived as perverse. We haven't lived in the Middle East in fear; but we return to America with fear as a survival tool; America is scary, we're told. So this journal pays a curious homage to Home. We begin with fresh perspective and a whole lot of luggage. This is also a story of motherhood and childhood and familyhood and personhood and even doghood. I write because I dream of being a columnist and haven't woken up yet.